Sunday, 3 August 2008
TITLE: A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS
AUTHOR: Khaled Hosseini
DATE PUBLISHED: 2007
DATE READ: July 2008
NOTES: This is the story of two Afghan women from 1970s to the present day. Hosseini is a masterful story-teller and we are quickly drawn into the lives of Mariam and Laila as they try to survive during times of great political and social upheaval, war, hunger and disease. As co-wives they gradually draw closer together and gain comfort and security from each other’s company and, in time, courage to stand up to a brutal husband. We come to know the characters of Mariam and Laila but most other characters (such as Tariq and Rasheed) remain somewhat one-dimensional. I also felt that it was odd that the two women appeared to have no social interaction of any sort with other women in the neighbourhood. It’s a very fast, easy read and I did want to know how everything was resolved at the end. However after finishing the book it all felt a bit unsatisfactory and I didn’t feel I had learned anything new about the lives of the Afghan people.
I would certainly recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns to anyone who only knew a little about the situation in Afghanistan and who wanted an untaxing read.